The Hornsby Family


Eliza Hornsby – Granny Morris’s mother


I have a note written at Christmas 1928 to my Grandparents by Granny Morris which reads My very dear children, I am sending you some of my curios because I value them, they will be taken care of by you I know.  They have been bought at various and distant times from foreign parts.  The Chinese things were probably bought by my Uncle Major John Frend of the 55th Regt.  They speak for themselves.  The carved box is tortoise shell.  The gourd snuff box was presented to my Grandfather also of the 55th Regt., John Frend, by the Griqua Chief as a token of his great affection., When the Regiment left [Griqualand] for India, Grandfather John Frend was commanding the Battalian, the destination was Madras.  While crossing India, a long, long march, my grandfather and grandmother both died at Bellany of cholera leaving a family of nine children, the youngest an infant of a few months old."

I have another note also written by Granny Morris on the back of a photo of her grandmother (see below) which states that her father died of “the fever” in 1855 as well, he too leaving a young family in India.  I presume that it was soon after this that the family returned to Europe.

The photograph of the Hornsby family was taken in Bristol (name of photographer is on the back) in, I assume, about 1865 when Granny Morris was in her twenties (?).  The names are on the back of the photo in her writing.  Henry I imagine was the eldest and had I think, followed his father into the Indian Army as a Major in 55th Madras Light Infantry. 

Soon after returning from India, the family apparently lived in the Dublin area in Ireland where another sister, Rachel, died aged 5.  On the back of her picture, which my Cousin Michael Adams has, is written Rachel Hornsby, youngest daughter of Henry Augustus Hornsby and Eliza (Nee Frend).  She died at the age of 5 years old at Montpelier Parade, Monbutown (?) Co. Dublin and was buried in the grave of my uncle, John Frend, at Mount Jerome Cemetery Dublin.


Arthur Hornsby went out to America and died aged 33 in Parejo, California in 1884.  Sadly history does not record whether this was a colourful death or just another attack of the fever.  Gus too went out to America and was still living there in 1928 by which time Arthur, Lizzie and Ellen had apparently died.


Ellen (Nell) married a Mr Sydney and had 2 children, Margaret and Harry.  Cousin Margaret was a great friend of my Grandmother and I am sure I must have met her but have no recollection.  I have always imagined that the reason why my mother was known as Peggy was to avoid confusion.


Almost all the information that I have on Henry Augustus Hornsby and his parents and his Grandfather comes from a note written by Granny Morris on back of photo of her Grandmother, Anne Fyshe-Palmer, who was Henry’s mother:


Mrs Anne Hornsby – Granny Morris’s Grandmother

Written by Hugh Evans March 2003

I believe Great Great Great Grandparents Thomas and Anne Hornsby had other children whose photos I have. 


Charlotte married General Sir Harry Jones who has gone down in the annuals of the Royal Engineers as one of the more distinguished members of the Regiment.  He died in 1866 when he was Governor of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and there is a plaque in the chapel commemorating him.


Caroline married a Mr Turnley and apart from a photograph of her taken in Southport, I have no other record.  Regretfully the imposing surroundings look to be a backdrop in the studio!


The only other photograph in this era that I have with a name, is of Anne Fyshe Palmer’s sister, Susanne who married a Mr Thomas Gisborne of Yoxall Lodge, Hampstead.  However a brief family tree jotted on a scrap of paper (by my Grandfather I think) dated 22 Aug (19)20 shows an  “Elizabeth” Fyshe Palmer who married Thomas Gisborne but I suspect that this is wrong and the much earlier inscription on the back of the photo is correct.


Lady Charlotte Jones

Mrs Caroline Turnley

General Sir Harry Jones

Mrs Susanne Gisborne


Anne Morris - Granny Morris

Great Grandmother Anne Morris (Nan) (known in the family as Granny Morris) was born in India at Ootacumund near Madras in about 1848 and died in 1941 aged 93.  Her father was Lt Col Henry Augustus Hornsby of the Madras Light Infantry and her mother, Eliza, was the daughter of Ellen and Lt Col John Frend, who had also commanded this regiment.

Arthur              Henry               Gus                 Nell

            Nan                                          Mother (Eliza)


Born Fyshe-Palmer – Anne Eldest daughter of Charles Fyshe Palmer who died and was buried at St Heliers Jersey.  She married Rev Thomas Hornsby, eldest son of the Rev Thomas Hornsby Regius Professor of Astronomy Ch:Ch: Oxon: is interred in that chapel.  Granny’s Husband was Rector of Ravensthorpe Northampton until his death.  My father Henry Augustus was their eldest son.  He was Lt Col in the Madras Light Infantry – he died of jungle fever and was buried at Vizianagram, Madras Pres at the age of 52 yrs 1855.”  Anne was born in 1782 and died in 1876 but I am unclear whether it was her or her father who was buried in Jersey.